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Category: General


Ariza | 18 March 2007, 11:22am

Some thing to prove my claims.

Current Mood: Amazed
Current Music: Cat Stevens

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Ariza | 17 March 2007, 1:14am

300 Cover Layout

Like most of you my introduction to the world of Frank Miller was through "Sin City" Robert Rodriguez's strange cinematic experience. Frank Miller was the writer of a graphic novel on which the movie was based and was supposed to be incognito, someone who should have appeared in the credits, at the premiere pictures and then at the academy awards clapping for the winner. But that maverick of a man Rodriquez slapped him on as the co-director because he said that the source could not be distinguished from the product. The whole thing caused a controversy where Rodriguez refused to bow down and the academy in tow with the director's guild refused to acknowledge the movie. Who was this Frank Miller? and why in the bloody-hell was he so important?

For those who are trivia interested he is the priest in "Sin City" but principally known as the comic book illustrator for Daredevil, X-men -- Wolverine and the Batman series. A man whose books are referred to as Graphic-novels and for those of us who have seen these as movies "graphic" means sex, crime, blood and violence. In short a dark dreary vision. Little wonder it drew Rodriguez and the-never-too-far-off-from him Tarantino to it. 300 comes as Zack Snyder's wannabie to this world.

It tells the story of how 300 Spartans fought against a million. Now, in history whenever you read something like that you must expect a lot of dead people and 300 throws that reality in your face. The Spartan king Leonidas (Gerald Butler) rejects an offer to bow to the Persian king and decides to go to war. Prevented by a corrupt oracle and a superstitious council to take the entire Spartan army and aided by his own war bred idealistic self he decides to fight the million strong Persians with just 300 men. With the pretence of this story over Zack Snyder (Dawn of the dead) gets to the real business of this movie: war.

For those of you who havent watched the trailers: watch them to see what I mean! The war sequences are spectacular. An all male theatre testifies to the heightened levels of adrenalin pumped onto the screen as you witness one massacre after the other. The Persians with their bodies pierced and their strange oriental manners are just prey - numbers to be piled on. Each sequence is beautifully choreographed and even though you are aware of the technique it never takes you away from the awe.

But 300 does not hold. Yes, I get the tragic and heroic tale of 300-people-against-a-million part and I get the fights but in the end I still didn

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: Still Vincent

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Vincent - For easy access

Ariza | 15 March 2007, 11:29pm

starry night
paint your palette blue and grey

look out on a summer's day
with eyes that know the
darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
sketch the trees and the daffodils

catch the breeze and the winter chills

in colors on the snowy linen land.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
they did not know how

perhaps they'll listen now.

starry night
flaming flo'rs that brightly blaze

swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in
Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain

weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's
loving hand.
And now I understand what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity
how you tried to set them free.
perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you
but still your love was true

and when no hope was left in sight on that starry
starry night.
You took your life
as lovers often do;
But I could have told you
this world was never
meant for one
as beautiful as you.

starry night
portraits hung in empty halls

frameless heads on nameless walls
with eyes
that watch the world and can't forget.
Like the stranger that you've met

the ragged men in ragged clothes

the silver thorn of bloddy rose
lie crushed and broken
on the virgin snow.
And now I think I know what you tried to say to me

how you suffered for your sanity

how you tried to set them free.
They would not listen
they're not
list'ning still
perhaps they never will.

Current Mood: Angry
Current Music: Don Mcclean

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Ariza | 14 March 2007, 11:53pm

It will come to you through a song while those lights dance about on the streets and the city reminds you that you have always been here. Then the last few months of living amongst the newcomers evaporate like naphthalene and you are left with the bitter after-taste of irony.

If you remember right, you were going to be the first one to leave: the first one to live abroad and send in jealousy provoking letters to those friends who will ask you to bring in gifts and stories about the world outside the city. Instead you are the one left telling the story of the neighborhood new hotshot Chinese food restaurant starting out as a small bandi (many years ago actually!) and as an annoyance to everyone before it made it so big that now your story lives off it.

It is all wrong when you remember how it was before the hi-tech city came in. Before the potential of Hyderabad was still a promise and it was a beautiful promise. You had a small net parlor close by where your friends gathered and chuckled about the browsing history of someone. It was childish, but you were children. You learned about the world through words and images on the computer screen - a medium that left you in Hyderabad and them in LA. It is all wrong when suddenly you are the only localite in the office and when you have to tell them where "Paradise" is. Oh god! it is worst than that! It is sacrilege.

So you are alone on the road and the city seems to have finally gone to sleep. It never gets to do that now-a-days. It works as hard as you do with no weekends and grueling schedules. You have an excuse - career. What does it have? Potential? So in its tender sleep of a few hours you have become the dream. You have a chat with the city. It speaks with all the poignancy of nostalgia: reminds you of the time you saw "Tezaab" in a second show at Padmavati and missed "Ek Do Teen" and wondered what it was all about while driving back with your father. Those yellow street lights made you feel warm when the night was cold. You shiver now. Someone zooms past in an esteem. You are not to be bothered. The conversation has died out. But the music is still on.

"Kehdo ke tum ho meri varna.....jeena nahi mujhe hai marna."

Current Mood: Preachy
Current Music: Tezaab

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Eighteen year old men

Ariza | 28 June 2006, 6:09pm

Was reading a book about war today. The author was eighteen years old when he was shipped off to the world war. He describes his experiences in the book. There is a particular scene which stands out. The author and his friend are in the trenches waiting for an attack to come when they start having a conversation.

"I had a great life. I dont know if I would ever see it again."

"You will. Dont worry." the author says.

"It's just that, now that I have seen this destruction the whole thing stands out in contrast. You see I had a great life. I never got to know that then, always had something to crib about and I only got engaged hoping to get laid. And now I might die alone. Now, from here, I am in love."

Talk like that in trenches might sound like a bad idea because it makes everyone emotional and then it becomes difficult to kill. But I dont think so. In the above line you can see the fellow wanted to live, that he wanted to see life. That is a good reason. Hell, it is as good a reason as any to fight a war and kill a man: TO LIVE.

In our country the movies made on war are about nationalism and patriotism. How many times have we had soldiers lecturing about their love for the country while they die. I remember J.P Dutta's LOC. Somehow, I am not convinced. Patriotism is a good enough reason to go to war but it is not the thing that keeps you alive. Ofcourse, a man could turn back and run and then he would be alive. Catch 22's Yossarian would agree. But a man cannot live to be a coward and we are always aware of the cowardice inside us. So between these extremes you end up fighting and in a war, in the trench waiting for the enemy, it is better to know that you have to be alive to go back home.

Ofcourse home is never the same. We, who have gone through eighteen rebelling and drooling after girls can never understand this. A simple near death experience can change us. War is more than that. There must always be the fear of death and change must breed inside this. In this book there is a character who sleeps with his gun in his hand. They keep warning him that one day he'll blow his head off. He says he is liable to do that if he didnt have his gun beside him, that the fear was too goddam much. The gun gives him comfort, keeps him sane.

I wonder how does he come home. What happens to his fear? What happens to that place in his heart where once there was fear.

Ofcourse we can never understand that.

Current Mood: Thoughtful
Current Music: Vijaypath

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Love and loss part I

Ariza | 19 June 2006, 10:45pm

If you live long enough, loss is inevitable. So when I began an informal friendship with an old anglo-indian neighbour of mine for a few free drinks in his yellow-light filled apartment I expected it to have no impact on me. But i suppose that in this life he was a stifled story-teller, a writer may be, and when he began recollecting his life in short glimpses for me I simply could not let it rest. These churned the half baked ideas inside my head and left me more battered than confused.

The theme that runs through all of them is Love. Mr.Miguel, childless, who lives alone in his flat now, loved his wife. It is a statement I can attest to with my own observation. Each day early in the morning I would see them walking down the road on their way to the church immersed deep in their conversation of what topics I could never make out. I remember one cold foggy winter day in particular: On their way back Mrs. Miguel met an old friend who offered to take her home on her two wheeler, Mrs.Miguel was suffering with a painful leg ailment then, and she agreed. It was only when I saw Mr.Miguel burst out of the fog looking like he had been hit by something and like he was rushing home to get it fixed did I realise what he was missing: his wife.

He hasnt been to the church since his wife died. Our association began that same year when he called me to fetch the christmas cakes with the same unchanged expression on his face and then to prove it that he was ok he asked me if I wanted a drink. We were on. The first story he ever told me was about a dinner soon after his marriage when he had asked some collegues home. He thought that it went well until late in the night when he woke up to find his young wife crying beside him.

"How could you do this to me?" she asked.

"do what?"

"You knew that I had an exam tommorow and you still called them. I have spent the whole evening cooking so that you dont look bad and now I am tired. My exam is ruined. A whole year gone."

He didnt know that. He tried to console her without much conviction and fell asleep thinking that she would get over it by morning. A little while later he woke up again when his wife came up to him and shook his sleep out for the night.

"Dont sleep like that now. Help me with it." He was reluctant. He had to go to the office and what would she do with a degree anyway? (1950's remember.) But he still hadnt lost his bachelor-hood shyness around her. He took the book and started asking her some questions.

"Soon", he later told me, "I was in it." "It was history and she told me fascinating stories about now-long-dead-kings. I realised what all this meant to her."

I think he saw the passion in her eyes. He never doubted it again. She needed it with more intensity than he needed to do his mundane job. He guessed my thoughts and added:

"It was a legendary night because thats when I realised that I had got myself a fire brand."

Another time he told me about her dreams.

"She always had a grand way of dreaming" he told me. "Then she would wake up early in the morning and tell me about it and I could see it sometimes, like I had been there with her and I would be in a fantastic place because she dreamed in bloody cinemascope." It was GGGRand with a capital G I realised.

"She would tell me about hundreds of funeral pyres on a desolate river bed or of a rain forest with sky high trees looking down on her with suspiscion in her eyes. Sometimes I would wake up by the force of her dreams!"

She had been infectious too.

Somewhere along the line we had agreed that I wouldnt ask any questions and Mr.Miguel liked it because of that. Often I found him lost with his glass in his hand and then his eyes had that expression that said he could see something happen right in front of him and I knew I could be lucky if he agreed to transcribe it for me.

(to be continued)

Current Mood: Feeling Better
Current Music: Old

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Normal Times

Ariza | 28 May 2006, 7:53pm

I have always wondered at the plight of students growing up in normal times.

For a few years in my otherwise dull life, we grew up with trouble brewing around us. I can never forget that winter morning in 1989 when we were aroused from the warm slumber of our Telugu class by a group of college students who shoved us out of school. We were so ecstatic that in our desperate search for words we clinged to the first one that we got and screamed our way back home repeating it.

"No School! Mandal! No School! Mandal!"

It was only when we saw the potency of these words as images on a television that we realised why everyone was staring at us.

We weren

Current Mood: Preachy
Current Music: Dance Dance

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Ariza | 25 May 2006, 10:06pm

It is the season of Avakkai!

My mother believes it will be an inevitable failure if it rains on the day you make the mix. So when we saw the clouds bunch up together over the corner of the sky while she was selecting the fruits in the Nallakunta market, my father and I knew what we had to do. I began to speed the process and my father got the car ready so that she could be whisked away before she could spot the doings of an ungrateful rain-god whom she had specifically asked to stay away by reciting a thousand names of Vishnu. As a kid I had once made the mistake of asking my mother why Avakkai was important and she replied:

"Because Avakkai is the year! Get that wrong and the year is gone."

"But I thought it was Ugadi Pachhadi that....."

"Yeah. that too. but this is different."


I am still waiting for an answer.

We got the Mangoes cut, tasted the sourness of most of them and got the salt, the mirchi powder, the avalu-podi and the garlic before the sun disappeared behind these clouds. All through our journey we asked her questions that never miss. Where did you learn? How many years of apprenticeship? Is there a secret ingredient? Which of us two gets the recipe as heirloom (my brother or me?)? She quickly lost herself in answering these questions. She learnt it from her mother; but then she also had to then go and learn it from her mother-in-law and was never allowed to make it alone for years until the old woman dropped dead one summer before the mango season. My mother didn

Current Mood: Amazed
Current Music: Money

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Ariza | 25 May 2006, 8:05am

It was only when I reached home that I recalled the whack on the television. An innocuous looking constable had stopped me with a per functionary wave of the dreadful lathi when I was on my way back and I stopped not because I was frightened of a flying missile but because I was excited. It was one very large drink later and I was quixotically confident of getting through. The man who in another times, if I had been sober enough to care, would have whacked me for protesting democratically for my rights looked at my still-black name plate and said I had to cough up. I didnt know that the reason you didnt see any traffic police around was because they merged into the normal race of policemen smug inside their Rakhshaks and I made the mistake of saying so. He corrected my bravado with a casual statement that the drink inside didnt aid in misunderstanding:

"do you want to see saab then?"

Now see, I wanted to live on the edge by stopping and being clever with a pitiful constable but I had no intention of standing up to a man who looked interestingly like prakash Raj with no dialouges. So I looked sheepishly and took the convenient cover of truth:

"I just have twenty rupees."

The kind constable didnt hide his contempt for me who made him miss a few other eminently stoppable, female-rider less targets and he knew with the certainty of inaction that I was as broke as I confessed. He quickly settled the twenty rupee note into his pocket and let me be. I still dont know if it is compulsory to have a white board?

Shekar Kammula was on the Metro plus with his star Sumanth. The interview reads different to me because of a habit which helps me have an imaginary conversation butting in with the famous ones with the confidence of being a success myself. But it was when they spoke of the presence of a strictly adhered script that I realised how rare that was in movies that are made on the whim of our tastes. I imagined myself to be a producer of script-less movies, arguing out a case for north Indian heroines whose lips make sense even when they arent speaking the blessed language; for songs and fight sequences that look like they had been confused by a tired editor after yet another marriage proposal rejection and for comedy written with the impatience of an early landing, with an argument that Shekar with his sensitivity could never beat:

"It makes money."

Current Mood: Bored
Current Music: Fanaa

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Ariza | 23 May 2006, 12:55am

It seems to be mandatory to start like this nowadays. Well the good news is you'll know when this blog ends....I'll have a disclaimer then again. Anyway here it goes

Most things written hereon hereinafter will be pure creations of my idle mind. Nothing here is calculated to titilliate or provoke any person living or dead. Nothing in here bears any resemblance to anything thought provoking. The author is not responsible for anyone who believes so.

Suffer if you know your grammar. I dont.
Suffer if you know your spellings. I wont spell check. I wont pay for pointing out.

copyright. All rights reserved.

Current Mood: Bored
Current Music: Naseeb

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